All-time temperature records are being broken this week. I can’t remember ever seeing forecasts with temperatures this high. Yes it is hot; it’s very hot, but without the humidity that we were used to in Ottawa, it’s much more bearable. Except when you try to walk barefoot on the deck or touch anything metal.
So what can you do when temperatures soar to these types of numbers?
- Air Conditioning: First and foremost, be very thankful that our house is air conditioned; we can sleep at night
2. Watch endless sunsets. The cloudless skies that allow the sun to beat down during the day, provide long-lasting shades of yellow, oranges, reds, and blues in the evening. The colours intensify over 45 + minutes that the sunset lasts. The last couple of days we have enjoyed spectacular views from our deck where the colorful sky outlines the mountains so clearly. I am a sucker for sunsets.
3. Get up early and exercise. I biked to Duncan on Saturday, leaving at 6:45 am. It was a great time to ride. I enjoyed the soft morning light, no traffic on the roads and not yet scorching temperature. A 30 km ride is very doable at that hour; I would not attempt it later than that.
4 Go for a ride in a convertible. Nicky and I drove to Victoria in their Beamer, top down. It was fun until on the way home we hit a slowdown in traffic and lost the breeze. We pulled over and put up the roof so we could enjoy the AC!
5. Look at beautiful summer flowers at Butchart Gardens. This is my 3rd trip to Butchart this year and seeing the gardens in each of the seasons is a treat. Yesterday, the summer annuals of marigolds, geraniums, dalias, fuchsia, and many more that I can’t name, provided a beautiful palette of colours. Many beds had plants that will still flourish and thicken so in another month it will be even better. Oh dear, we may have to go back! The rose garden, was in full bloom and splendiferous. I have never seen so many different species of roses, all with their unique scent, shape and colouring.
6. Go Paddling! Today had a forecasted high of 39 or 40 degrees; this is new for me! Friends invited us on a paddle and to go snorkelling. Given the forecasted temps, Bill and I almost chickened out this morning, but we are really glad we did not. We left at 10am and there was a pleasant breeze on the water so we did not overheat. We paddled to one of our favourite beaches, Elliot Cove. Since we were about 2 hr before low tide (and it was to be VERY low) we got on our snorkelling gear and explored the waters near the beach. It was fun to see the sea life up close and although it was not the crystal blue waters of tropical locations. We saw lots of fish, sea stars, crabs and lots of different sea vegetation. The water was a bit turbid and murky but the important thing is that it was warm enough to swim and have fun in. Compared to the icy water we experienced in the winter when we were paddling, this was paradise! Who knew we could snorkel in June in the ocean off Vancouver Island?! We had lunch on the beach, in the shade, and it was very comfortable. The paddle back was lovely was well. There was less of a breeze, but we just dunked our hats in the water and cooled off that way. The hardest part? Arriving back at the put in at lowest of low tides. We tried to carry our boats over the mud flats, but I literally got sucked in the mud up to my knees and had trouble getting out – I had to be ‘pulled’ out by John and Bill. We got back in our boats and paddled around the corner to the boat launch ramp. Unpacking and loading the boats was the hottest part of the whole day. Once we cleaned up at home, we relaxed in our air conditioned home. It was a great day.
So that’s how Islanders survive a record-breaking heat wave. We are very fortunate our house is comfortable and we have the opportunity to do these activities. The heat wave is not over yet. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer. But I think we may take a day off.